Measuring Islamist Influence in Shaping Libya’s Future

In the aftermath of the downfall of Moammar Gadhafi, attention has shifted to the reformation of Libya’s political model.  Although there is a rising concern regarding the Islamist influence on Libya’s future, leaders of Libya and the U.S. believe the Islamists are dedicated to democratic pluralism.  Libya has been considered a moderate country but it remains unclear where Libya’s model will fall on the political spectrum.  Realistic possibilities range from the Turkish model of democratic pluralism to the theocratic models followed by Iran (Shiite) and the Taliban (Sunni).  Islamist militia in Libya have been supported and funded by foreign nations such as Qatar.  Despite confidence in the Islamist dedication to a democratic system, the U.S. and NATO have kept a close watch on the Islamists.  The Libyan revolution presented a liberal and westernized approach to the world but competing interests have caught the interest of the international community.

The U.S. assistant secretary of affairs, Jeffrey D. Feltman, expressed that the U.S. does not believe one political group will dominate the future of Libyan politics.  Ali Sallabi, arguably the most influential political figure in Libya, has made his vision for a political party based on Islamist principles clear but insists the party intends to come to power through democratic elections.  Sallabi has gone to mentionable lengths to gain confidence in his Islamist party.  Sallabi, continues to face scrutiny from other leaders in Libya who have accused him of hiding his true intentions.

Based on the contemporary Islamist influence and impact in other nations, should we be more concerned about their political agenda?  How much of the Islamist principles should be included in Libya’s political model, a mostly Islamic nation?  Do you foresee a rise of a secularist model?  What can be done to protect the minority religions of Libya’s population?

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One comment

  1. Although the United States will probably accept nothing less than a democratic government in Libya, the Libyan people should be left to choose whichever form of government they desire. This proposition could serve to haunt the U.S. if the Libyan people were to support a government that is less friendly or more of a threat than the former government was. If the Libyan people want a secular government, that is a wonderful thing and would definitely be encouraged by the U.S. A secular government is less likely to be unfriendly to U.S. interests. If the Libyan’s desire to adopt a more religious government, they also should not be hindered from doing so. Although this might be a scary proposition for the United States, it is my belief that self determination of nations is something that should not be infringed. When one nation is hostile to another there are ways to solve the problem. What is not the way if for one nation to dictate to another the type of government one nation should have. This will only lead to that nation hating the other, and serve to exacerbate hostilities rather than mitigate them. Whichever form of government Libya chooses, it should be of their own accord without undue influence from other nations.

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